A quick reference guide
The chainsaws and bulldozers are revving up…
ERPA is seeking environmental justice for East River Park and the Lower East Side community it serves. We demand a truly resilient comprehensive flood protection plan for the climate crisis without causing destruction of the local environment and great harm to the health and well-being of the community it serves.
What is about to happen?
The Mayor’s $1.5 billion East Side Coastal Resiliency Plan is a boondoggle that is the antitheses of resiliency. The plan to bury the park in a million tons of fill and cut down 990 mature trees will harm the environment, contribute to climate change, and seriously compromise the mental, physical health and well-being of the community for many years to come.
The mayor is deaf to the voices of the community and environmental experts. This plan was done behind closed doors.
This fatally flawed plan is outdated. Updated climate reports are out. Climate change and extreme weather events are here and accelerating. The severe rainstorms caused by Ida recently are the new norm. This plan is not the way to provide resiliency for now or the future, and may in fact make flooding in the streets much worse.
How can a plan of this magnitude be pushed through the planning process with no transparency to the public and absolutely no oversight or review?
City Council member Corey Johnson remains silent on pleas for emergency hearing on East River Park plan in spite of requests from Council waterfront Resiliency Committee Chair Justin Brannan. Is the city hiding something?
The city’s claim the 46-acre park construction will take 3- 5 years is an impossible timeline. A generation of children will be without mature trees to provide shade, cleaner air, bird habitat, and a place of natural respite.
The toxic dust during years of destruction and construction, the lack of shade and a green space will have dire consequences to the mental and physical health of the local residents who have high rates of asthma as well as upper respiratory diseases from 9/11.
An earlier plan that could be updated for today’s climate crises is the Blueway Plan: A comprehensive community driven plan that decked over the FDR to minimize air pollution and provide high, dry space for sports fields, allowing the park at river edge to eventually become a resilient flood protecting wetland.